Final Dime: Sixers 95, Cavaliers 91
Ramon Sessions finished with 20 points and 10 assists on Sunday night at The Q.
David Liam Kyle
The Wine and Gold were flat for three quarters against the Sixers before hitting the gas midway through the fourth – cutting a 12-point Philadelphia lead to just a deuce with 7.9 seconds to play. But Philly’s Jodie Meeks canned a pair of free throws to seal the 95-91 win for the red-hot Sixers.
The Cavaliers had a chance to tie the contest – taking possession with 29.3 to play and down, 91-88. But Thaddeus Young broke up an exchange between Boobie Gibson and J.J. Hickson, Cleveland fouled Jrue Holliday, who canned two free throws.
Gibson’s three-pointer brought Cleveland to within a basket, but Meeks’ free throws iced the game seconds later.
“I don’t know what it is about these five and six o’clock games, but I don’t like them,” quipped Coach Scott. “It just seems that our energy isn’t as good for whatever reason. I’ve tried two different ways to approach it and if we have another one sometime this season, I’ll try the third way.”
The Cavaliers had three starters in double figures and two, Anthony Parker and Christian Eyenga, who managed just two points between them.
J.J. Hickson was a beast on the block again – leading both squads with 22 points and 16 boards. Hickson was 9-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-7 from the stripe, grabbing nine of his boards off the offensive glass. J.J. added two steals and a blocked shot.
Ramon Sessions doubled-up with 20 points and 10 assists in Sunday’s loss – going 6-for-13 from the floor and 8-for-11 from the line, adding six boards and a blocked shot.
Antawn Jamison rounded out the starters in double-figures, netting 16 points before leaving the game late in the third with an injured finger.
Rookie Samardo Samuels was the only other Cavalier to notch double-figures, netting 12 points off the bench – going 5-of-8 from the floor with six boards and frustrating Philly’s Elton Brand throughout the second stanza.
“We had that sense of urgency in the fourth quarter where everyone thought we could win this game,” said Samuels. “Every time we went to the huddle we said ‘okay, let’s make another push’ and that’s what we did.”
With the three new Cavaliers – Baron Davis, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody – watching in street clothes from the bench, the Cavaliers shot 42 percent from the floor, including just 21 percent from beyond the arc.
Cleveland will have their newest members in action – (and they’ll need them) – on Wednesday night when they welcome the league-best San Antonio Spurs to The Q, wrapping up an eight game homestand.
2. The Cavaliers have really upped their scoring over the past six games. In their previous 37 games, Cleveland averaged 93.9 ppg. Over their last half-dozen contests, the Cavs are at 109.1 ppg – handing out 25.0 assists per game and shooting .419 from the floor.
3. Since January 19, only Kevin Love (9) and Dwight Howard (12) have more games of 15-plus rebounds than J.J. Hickson – who registered his eighth on Sunday evening.
4. The last Cavalier to have consecutive 20-point, 15-rebound games was who, coincidentally, did so from Feb. 25-27, 2005.
5. Sessions closed out a fantastic month of February. He notched the 20th double-double of his career on Sunday and over the last month, averaged 19.9 points – on .563 shooting – 4.3 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.7 steals per contest.
6. New Cavalier guard Baron Davis comes to Cleveland in elite company – joining Steve Nash and Jason Kidd as the only active players with more than 1,200 3-pt field goals made, 5,000 assists and 1,200 steals.
7. Daniel Gibson celebrated his 25th birthday with nine points and four boards against Philly. He went 2-of-6 from long distance and is now shooting an even 52 percent (11-for-21) from beyond the arc against Philly this year.
8. The three new Cavaliers have all selected their numbers. Haragody picked 44, his number at Notre Dame. Erden picked No. 9, which he wore for the Turkish National Team. Baron Davis, who took the unusual No. 85 – explained why before Sunday’s game …
“For me, it’s a special number because of the street my grandmother lives on, that’s where her house is (85th Street) and that’s where I got my first basketball court – where I was really introduced to the game,” explained Davis. “I picked 85 because it’s a rebirth, get back to roots.”
9. J.J. Hickson doubled-up for the seventh time in his last eight games, averaging 18.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per contest in that stretch.
10. Antawn Jamison was forced to leave the game with 1:26 remaining in the third quarter with a fractured left little finger. He’ll be examined on Monday and his status updated.
Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.